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Top 10 Bryce Harper moments as a Phillie: From Mr. 300 to 'attaboy' to Bedlam at the Bank

Scott Lauber, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Baseball

PHILADELPHIA — Five years ago this week, Bryce Harper chose the Phillies.

And the franchise entered a new era.

It took a few seasons, two managerial changes, and a new leader in the front office to complete the Phillies’ transformation into a World Series contender. But when Harper showed up for that first news conference atop the dugout in Clearwater, Fla., he brought something the team lacked for most of the preceding decade: star power.

Harper isn’t the best player in baseball, though he was in 2021. But he’s arguably the most magnetic (teammates call him “The Showman”) and, after the last two Octobers, undeniably the most clutch.

And if there was a playbook for the city’s star athletes to hike their Q-Score among fans, Harper has mostly run the “Philly Special” over and over, with his Phanatic cleats and headband, jersey logo smooches, and shoutouts of WIP-FM (94.1) callers.

In the latest installment of The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Top 10 series, here’s a look at 10 of No. 3′s most indelible Phillies moments:

 

10. Mr. 300

Even Harper’s milestones drip with drama.

With one on, two out, and the Phillies trailing by a run in the eighth inning last Aug. 30, Harper came to the plate against tough Angels lefty Matt Moore. He went deep, naturally, to give the Phillies a lead, record the 300th homer of his career, and take an emotional curtain call before a packed house at Citizens Bank Park.

Harper labeled it a “stepping-stone” as much as a milestone, and he wasn’t being immodest. He made his major league debut as a 19-year-old with the Nationals in 2012 and became the fourth-youngest active player to hit No. 300.

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